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NFL player Mangold heckles Penguins

Jets center, Rangers fan taunts Crosby, Pittsburgh bench during Game 3

by By Mike G. Morreale @MikemorrealeNHL / staff writer

NEW YORK -- The Pittsburgh Penguins had a lot more to deal with than the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

New York Jets center Nick Mangold attended the Stanley Cup Playoff game wearing a blue Rangers jersey and was seen heckling the players and coaches, leaning over the railing from the first row behind the Penguins' bench prior to the start of the third period. Mangold was at the game with Jets wide receiver Eric Decker and free-agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

It was Mangold, however, who was the center of attention.

According to the New York Post, Mangold directed his verbal tirade at Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet and captain Sidney Crosby.

"I saw him lean over the railing once, but I think he was talking to one of the trainers," Crosby said after practice on Wednesday. "If he comes to the game and wants to do that, he has a ticket and can do what he wants. I think that it's not typically what you see [from a professional athlete] but at the same time I don't have a problem with it.

"It's all part of the intensity of the games and he's that into it. I don't see a problem with it."

The Penguins won the game, 3-1 and lead the best-of-7 series 2-1. Game 4 is Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVA Sports, SN, ROOT, MSG).

It wasn't the first time Mangold was seen heckling the opposition at a Rangers' home game. He was also wearing his Henrik Lundqvist No. 30 jersey and heckling players and coaches of the Dallas Stars on Jan. 5.

"I really don't pay attention to it to be honest with you," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "Our focus is on the hockey game."

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